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Darden to sell Red Lobster for $2.1 billion

Darden to sell Red Lobster for $2.1 billion

Roger Yu, USA TODAY

Darden Restaurants said Friday it agreed to sell Red Lobster and related real estate assets to investment firm Golden Gate Capital for $2.1 billion, shedding its worst performing chain to pay off some company debt.

In the cash deal, Darden will receive net cash proceeds, after tax and transaction costs, of about $1.6 billion. The Orlando-based restaurant company plans to use $1 billion to pay off debt and use the rest to buy back shares.

McDonald's testing seasoned fries

McDonald's testing seasoned fries

USA TODAY

Even the iconic McDonald's french fry, a linchpin to the fast-food giant's multibillion-dollar success, is getting a second look as the company seeks new product hits.

On Thursday, the same day McDonald's announced that domestic sales were flat in April, the company confirmed to USA TODAY that it will begin testing seasoned fries -- dubbed Shakin' Flavor Fries -- on Friday in the Northern California and St. Louis markets.

What's actually in Taco Bell beef?

What's actually in Taco Bell beef?

Jolie Lee, USA TODAY Network

Taco Bell is revealing what's in its beef, and it turns out it's actually mostly beef.

The fast-food chain's recipe contains 88% beef and 12% "signature recipe," according to a new webpage posted by Taco Bell.

Also, addressing a widespread rumor, Taco Bell beef is not grade D beef, according to the website.

Houston County restaurant ratings

Houston County restaurant ratings

See how Houston County restaurants rated with the Georgia Department of Health from March 25-April 25:

Free McDonald's coffee for two weeks

Free McDonald's coffee for two weeks


If you like to start your morning off with a cup of coffee, you can get one for free for the next couple of weeks.

McDonald's is offering customers nationwide a free small cup of McCafe coffee for two weeks.

The promotion starts today at participating locations.

Customers can only get the free coffee during regular breakfast hours.
The offer from McDonald's comes as fast food competitor Taco Bell rolled out its first breakfast menu last week.


Wendy's to freshen up salad line

Wendy's to freshen up salad line

Bruce Horovitz, USA TODAY

Wendy's has big plans to return to its salad days.

On Tuesday, the burger chain will announce the March 17 national rollout of two new menu items to its salad lineup: an Asian Cashew Chicken Salad and a BBQ Ranch Chicken Salad. Also, Wendy's will announce plans to add more fresh veggies — cucumbers and red peppers — to its spiffed-up side salads,

Burger King puts lower-calorie fries in Kid's Meal

Burger King puts lower-calorie fries in Kid's Meal

Bruce Horovitz, USA TODAY

Burger King is tweaking its Kid's Meals with fries that are less nutritionally naughty.

The burger giant Tuesday announced that its crinkle-cut Satisfries -- with 40% less fat and 30% fewer calories than McDonald's fries -- will immediately become the standard fries served in Burger King Kid's Meals nationally. Although BK charges slightly more for Satisfries with adult meals, it will not charge more for its Kid's Meals.